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Bebop Spoken There

Brian Dee: "I feel my generation had one advantage over today's players in that we were not musically educated in colleges, so we all sounded different. I could tell who it was just by the sound." - (Jazz Rag, Summer 2020).

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11,783 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 1023 of them this year alone and, so far, 50 this month (Sept. 17).

Coming soon ...

SEPTEMBER

IT IS ADVISABLE TO CHECK IN ADVANCE WITH THE VENUE THAT THE GIG IS ON

SATURDAY

Happy Birthday Katy Trigger & Mia Webb.

SUNDAY 20

Vieux Carre Hot 4 - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. Tel: 0191 691 7090. 12 noon. Free.

Riviera Quartet - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8:00pm. A limited number of seats are available which MUST be bought in advance online. £7:50 or £5:45 live stream only.

THURSDAY 24

Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Maine St Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Sunniside Road, Sunniside NE16 5NA. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:00pm - 10pm. Free. Note earlier start/finish.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Strictly Smokin' Big Band @ The Bridge Hotel - June 27


(Review by Russell)

At last, summer! A relentless sun shone through the Bridge Hotel's bay window as the Strictly Smokin' Big Band assembled for a public rehearsal session at its new base on Castle Garth. Against a backdrop of intercity and regional services jostling with clattering, clunking freight trains winding their way in and out of Newcastle Central Station the sun-dappled audience shielded its collective eye (see photo*) as Michael Lamb's roaring big band opened up with Fast Cars
 Depending on how one counted them, the number of deps totalled eight, eight and a half (Dave Kerridge occupying the alto sax chair rather than his more familiar role as second tenor) or nine. And what's more, every single one of them could have been fixtures in the band so good was their contribution. 

An all-dep rhythm section - Paul Donnelly, guitar, Ben Lawrence, piano, Jon Proud, bass and drummer Ian Wynd - worked wonders, reading the charts at a moment's notice and for those hearing the band for the first time they wouldn't have known it. Star vocalist Alice Grace sang Blue Skies during which she re-arranged/repositioned the furniture (the PA). 

Maynard Ferguson's Dancing Nitely found the band in scorching form either side of a gargantuan Keiran Parnaby blast with Jamie Toms backing up on tenor. Polly Gibbons' arrangement of Dr Feelgood paired a bluesy Ms Grace with an equally bluesy Mr Paul Donnelly. Great to hear the one-time Djangologist guitarist working with the SSBB. 

As the sun began to sink below the cityscape the trumpeters stepped up; first a rare solo feature for Dick Stacey with Alice Grace singing I Can't Get Started followed by Pete Tanton accompanying vocalist AG on You Turned the Tables on me - fabulous stuff! The ensemble joined AG on Teach Me Tonight before the band's vocalist signed off with It Was a Very Good Year. The SSBB went out on Jammer Time. Woah! Donnelly impressed again, 'bone man Chris Gurgi-Smith similarly impressed setting up a Jamie Toms-Alan Marshall duel to close the show. The SSBB, whether in concert or in rehearsal is one helluva band. Catch them next time.   
  
The first reader to correctly identify the mystery character attempting to hide from the oh-so-bright sunlight wins a free pint (courtesy of your reviewer). The small print...the offer must be taken up at the SSBB's next rehearsal night at the Bridge Hotel (July 25). Those who were present last night (June 27) are not eligible to enter this once-in-a-lifetime competition.  
Russell

Michael Lamb, MD, Pete Tanton, Gordon Marshall, Dick Stacey, (trumpets); Alan Marshall, Jamie Toms, Dave Kerridge, Dan Kolb, Laurie Rangecroft (reeds); Chris Gurgi-Smith, Keiran Parnaby, Alex Utting, Chris Grey (trombones); Paul Donnelly (guitar); Ben Lawrence (keyboards); Jon Proud (bass); Ian Wynd (drums); Alice Grace (vocals)

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